Abortion is the seminal issue of our time. No other domestic issue - taxes, health care, the environment - comes close to rivaling it in importance. Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, nearly 50 million unborn babies have been destroyed. In all the Western countries, abortion is responsible for more deaths than Nazism and communism combined.
Lawful abortion is state-sanctioned infanticide; it is the murder of innocent, defenseless human life. Moreover, abortion assaults the very foundations of constitutional democracy. The most fundamental human right - the right that underpins our system of government - is the right to life. Without it all other rights - to liberty, property, freedom of expression - are impossible and meaningless.
This is why abortion is today’s equivalent of slavery: It is a cancer eating away at the moral and political fabric of America. Just like slavery, Roe v. Wade codified into law the pernicious principle that an entire class of people is not fully human - and therefore, undeserving of basic human rights. In the 19th century, Southern blacks were treated as property - things - to be used and discarded by their masters. Today it is unborn children who are strangled in the womb and treated like chattel. They are the slaves of our time. They are the forgotten victims of the sexual revolution.
Since the 1960s, liberalism has championed a kind of sexual utopia and personal liberation: anything goes - abortion on demand, gay rights, condoms in schools and the transgender movement.
Rather than leading to mass happiness, however, the sexual revolution has resulted in a sea of human misery: tens of millions of fetuses murdered, millions of people killed as a result of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS, the skyrocketing rise of out-of-wedlock births and teenage pregnancy, soaring divorce rates, the breakdown of the family and countless broken homes and shattered lives.
Feminists and leftists ferociously defend a woman’s “right to choose” because abortion is the linchpin of modern liberalism; it advances the fundamental goal of a society based on sex without consequences. Liberals believe people should be able to seek sexual gratification without its possible repercussions - conceiving a child - getting in their way. Their lifestyle, professional career or educational opportunities cannot be affected by the nuisance of a pregnancy. Liberals champion an America dominated not by the cash nexus but the sex nexus.
The Democratic Party has become hostage to special interest groups - labor unions, trial lawyers, the homosexual lobby and feminists. Pro-abortion organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL, drive the party’s agenda. Nothing more clearly demonstrates this than the Democrats’ presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama. He is a staunch supporter of abortion rights - what he calls “reproductive justice” - including the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. At a recent faith forum in California, Mr. Obama was unable to define when human life begins, saying this is “above my pay grade.” It isn’t. Any person with common sense, such as his Republican rival Sen. John McCain, understands that life begins at conception. When a child is conceived, he or she already has a unique DNA and personality. It is a sacred life growing within the womb.
Mr. Obama may not be willing to betray his feminist base, but he is willing to betray African-Americans - his most loyal and devoted supporters. Abortion disproportionately impacts blacks compared to white women. Although blacks constitute roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population, 37 percent of all abortions are performed on black women, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that specializes in sexual health. Since Roe v. Wade, more than 10 million black pregnancies have been aborted (some watchdog groups put the figure closer to 13 million). America’s current black population stands at 36 million. Abortion has claimed the lives of about one-third of the black community. This is genocide. For Mr. Obama to not speak out about this national scandal is a disgrace - both to him and his party. It reveals, like nothing else, that he lacks the moral clarity and courage to lead this country.
Abortion is the great civil rights struggle of our time. It has caused immeasurable, perhaps irreparable damage to America’s human capital and social potential. Of all the millions of babies killed, how many Martin Luther Kings, Albert Einsteins and James Madisons have we lost? How many Ernest Hemingways, Louis Armstrongs and Bill Gateses have we lost?
Mr. McCain vows to win this battle over life and death. The Supreme Court currently has a 5-4 liberal majority. Several vacancies will likely open up during the next administration. Mr. McCain is anti-abortion. He promises to appoint conservatives to the high court. The pro-life movement is on the verge of achieving the unthinkable: repealing Roe v. Wade. Now is the time for the forces of civilization to take their stand.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times.